Four years ago, when your dad and I were told we were having a girl, some people congratulated us on our good fortune: "ooooOOO! Girls are so fun!". I would inevitably grin and agree, so fun. Others lifted their eyebrows and intoned knowingly: "You know what they say about mothers and daughters". And I would just stare blankly at them because I didn't know what they say about mothers and daughters, though I suspected it had something to do with the inevitable eye-rolling, walk-five-paces-behind-at-the-mall days of adolescence.
Let's just say I'm starting to understand a little bit about those vague ominous pronouncements and I didn't have to wait until your adolescence.
These last few months have included some dark days between you and me, when all you want is me, at your disposal, ALL THE TIME and yet it seems I can do nothing right in your book. I don't know if it's daughter vs. mother, first born vs. mother-of-two, three year old vs. the world or just you vs. me. All I know is that we have been locked in a struggle in new and exhausting ways and some days it seems you are searching for things to fight me on. I often catch you fighting back a smile while I desperately try to break through your frostiness and redirect you with something fun or silly.
Why fight a smile?
I am back to reading parenting books at night for inspiration, out of DESPERATION.
Your father and I talk nightly about what went wrong, what worked, what didn't. We are still grasping in darkness, listening for ideas at the playground, reminding ourselves of every happy moment, reading your every tea leaf for clues.
So last week, when you were upset that your dad and I were going on a date and you sobbed "When can I go on a date with Mommy??!", I listened and took your question literally.
Last night we had a date. You and me. We went out to dinner at a fancy(ish) restaurant and shared a pumpkin ice cream sandwich for dessert.
It didn't fix anything of course and I spent more time than I wanted reminding you of your basic table manners. But as we drove home and you said "I had a really nice time on our date, Mommy", I felt like it was a small step in the right direction.
Your Clueless But Hopeful Mama